When you run your own business, you’re not necessarily a natural leader of people: you might be more about big ideas, sales, or any other element of entrepreneurship. But once you start to build a team, you need to figure out your team management game with the same attention and dedication as any other business skill.
Today, the leadership style that is having the best effect in business is the so-called “coaching”-style. This will be a relief to some small business bosses: those who feel uncomfortable pulling rank or bossing people around. Other, less people-oriented bosses who are happier giving straight forward instructions rather than coaching others to develop as employees, may find it intimidating.
The good news for both sets of bosses is that it’s relatively easy to get started with the coaching style of management. It just requires an adjustment in how you approach conversations with your crew. And a fantastic new visual resource from Headway Capital provides a few handy shortcuts to get started.
For example, small business owners are more aware than other bosses of how directly their employee’s performance affects their own income. Every penny you pay a staff member is a penny out of your own personal pocket – so you expect a certain return from it. However, using phrases like “I don’t pay you so I can do your job for you!” or “are you going to pay for that breakage?” hardly inspires an employee to engage more with your business and do their best. It’s far more likely to inspire them to start browsing the classifieds for a more stable job.
Never play on the hierarchy of the business like this. By all means share your vaster experience, but think of your crew more as a family who you are helping to become their best. Instead of making empty complaints, use your words wisely to offer instruction or – better still – help employees to help themselves.
Think of your employees as not just an economic investment but an investment of your knowledge and passion, and you’ll soon find them paying dividends.